- Sam Khan, Texas A&M/SEC reporter
This is a pretty special time in the life of Lancaster (Texas) High School athlete Nick Harvey.
He's having a blast on the football field, winning with his teammates as they navigate the Texas Class 4A playoffs. The Tigers are in the third round of the postseason for the first time since 2000.
Harvey is having a significant impact for his 11-1 squad, playing on both sides of the ball. And on Monday, the ESPN Watch List 2014 prospect decided on his college future, choosing to commit to Texas A&M.
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound athlete had his choice of premier programs when it came to scholarship offers. Other programs that pursued Harvey that he considered include Texas, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
But the relationship that the Texas A&M coaching staff has built with him, specifically receivers coach David Beaty who recruits the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the Aggies, was a factor.
"Their season has been going pretty good and their players really took me in as a family member," Harvey said. "The coaches, I like my relationship with them and they talk to me almost every week. Coach Beaty, that's my recruiter, we have a great relationship.
"Me and my dad have been talking about it and we just thought it was that time...My dad was like, 'Are you ready to make the decision?' And I said, 'Yeah.' I had to leave school to go to the dentist, so on the way to the dentist, I called Coach Beaty and told him I was going to commit."
The reaction from Beaty was understandably positive. Harvey is a versatile talent who can play offense or defense. On defense, he'll fit in as either a cornerback or a safety. Harvey said the Aggies have left the door open for contributing on both sides of the ball.
"They told me they're going to want me play both ways," Harvey said. "That's what I really been wanting to do."
Harvey's commitment comes just days after the Aggies put the finishing touches on an impressive regular-season debut in the Southeastern Conference, going 10-2 and finishing in a tie for second place with LSU. Harvey, who visited Aggieland for the LSU game on Oct. 20, said the SEC membership and the Aggies' ability to succeed in the conference mattered to him.
"It matters a lot because I want to play in that league," Harvey said. "Now there's a closer school other than LSU and Arkansas. It matters to me a lot. It's really the conference I wanted to play in."
Harvey said he didn't think the Aggies would struggle in their first year, but he was impressed by how successful they've been so far.
"That actually played a big factor in my decision," he said. "Going into the season, I didn't think they were going to do this good but I knew they were going to be fine because of their spread offense and their defense isn't bad. So I knew they would do pretty good in there."
Texas was the closest contestant to Texas A&M in the recruiting race, according to Harvey. When he visited in October, a couple things stood out to him about the Aggies.
"Their coaches actually took me in as one of their own," Harvey said. "They were the only ones other than Texas [to do that]. Texas and Texas A&M were battling for the No. 1 spot. I think their coaches really got my attention. And the fans at A&M, I like their fans. I went to the game and even though the game was over with before the zeroes hit, their fans stayed until the zeroes hit. So that told me it they were true fans."
Now that he has made a pledge, he can turn his focus solely to the Tigers' postseason run, which will continue Saturday when they take on Prosper (Texas) High School in Garland, Texas.
"It's real special," he said. "I can get [recruiting] off my chest right now and worry about my playoff run and go win a state championship."
This is a pretty special time in the life of Lancaster (Texas) High School athlete Nick Harvey.He's having a blast on the football field, winning with his teammates as they navigate the Texas Class 4A playoffs.